Exactly a month after the start to the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane season, our first named storm has officially formed off the east coast of Florida. Arthur is the name given to this storm, which at 11:00 AM, has maximum sustained wind speeds of 40 mph.
For information on the differences between a tropical depression, tropical storm and hurricane, check out this graphic below:
This year, a less active season was predicted. While things have indeed gotten off to a slower start, all it takes is one system to make it your active year. Again, this is not meant to scare anyone. But for folks headed to the beaches from Georgia up to North Carolina, keep your eyes and ears peeled for updates.
Models still need to come into better agreement as to timing, impact, and location of the storm. However, the general consensus is that it could put a damper on Fourth of July plans for beach goers. Warm sea surface temperatures in the Gulf Stream along the east coast of the US along with an approaching cold front should allow Arthur to strengthen. The current forecast is that Arthur would become a Category 1 hurricane by early Friday morning as it tracks northward past North Carolina.
Last year, the first tropical storm of the season was Andrea, which made landfall in North Carolina on June 7th, packing quite the punch. My hometown of Raleigh took a blow as Andrea dumped more than five inches at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, while some places saw close to ten inches of rain.
While Arthur doesn't look to have any major impact on our area, as a cold front separates the system from the drier airmass we will be under, we will monitor the situation as local folks plan for beach trips for the Fourth of July weekend.
---Meteorologist Chris Michaels---
Facebook: Chris Michaels WCYB